Friday, February 28, 2020

Random Wax: 2019 Topps Archive Baseball

2019 Topps Archives:  Archives is a set I really enjoy so it sounds like a good one for a Friday.  This pack was very similar to another pack I busted last year.  Still it is a fun pack and product.  With three different designs hopefully you like at least two out of three.  We'll kick this off with World Series Champion Juan Soto.  It was fun watching these guys win the Nationals' first championship.
That's my second Tatis Jr. I've pulled from an 2019 Archives pack.  Hoping to see good things from him.  Also got to see Tatis on a White Sox card thanks to Padrographs and the cards he sent me.  That post was up on the blog earlier this week.
Love the old photos like this one of Pirate great Honus Wagner.  Really makes these cards fun.  Fun pack and I can't wait for this year's offering.  

I'm a big fan of these Topps Magazine cards and pulling one with The Wizard on it makes it that much better.

18 – Total Cards
6 – 1993
5 - RC
5 – 1958
4 – 1975
1 – 1975 Mini (1:78 packs)
1 – 1994 Future Star
1 – Topps Magazine

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Mail Day From Padrographs!

Suprise mail day from Rod at the Padrographs blog.  I also received cards from him last year which was also a great haul.  This group of cards was centered around the Chicago White Sox as well as a surprise entry.  This Fernando Tatis Jr. 1st Bowman is a sweet card.  White Sox fans are still trying to forget the trade that sent him to San Diego for James Shields.
  I had no clue about the 2019 Topps X Tatis Jr. Baseball Set until I saw this Eloy Jimenez card.  He was part of the Dominican Republic subset.  Sweet looking card and Jimenez had an excellent rookie year for the White Sox in 2019.
Big Hurt.  Legend.  Enough said.  Some really cool Frank Thomas cards but that Allen & Ginter Baseball Star Signs is a great looking card.  I'm really digging it and may have to look for others from that set.
Jose Abreu is a guy who seems to not get his due for the great production he puts out.  And he can't seem to land that big contract due to his age.  He was 27 when he won Rookie of Year in 2014.  Hope for more good things from this guy who is playing on a one year contract with Chicago this season.
I really hated seeing the Red Sox give up this guy to the White Sox in the deal that netted Chris Sale.  He had a break out season in '19 and is still only 24.  
These are only a sampling of the cards Rod sent my way.  So many good players and a few sets I've never seen in hand before like this Topps Total Wellington Castillo.
Rod through in quite a few Dave Dravecky cards.  It is so easy to forget how good a pitcher Dravecky was.  He never had an ERA over 3.58 in any of his eight seasons.  His career ERA was 3.13 in just over 1000 innings.  You know what - he is now a PC guy for me.  Amazing what a few cards can do for you.

And my all-time favorite White Sox player - Hall of Famer Harold Baines.  I always liked Baines as a kid.  Something about that swing I think just made him look good - and boy was he good.  That Donruss is another set I wasn't familiar with.

Thanks Rod!  I really appreciate all the fun cards. 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Card Show Pickups (Football)

This is the last of my posts on card pickups from the card show.  There is still some football going on in the form of the XFL so a Sunday post is appropriate.  Who doesn't like Peyton Manning?  Dude was nothing short of great and also a fun dude.  These two were cheap pickups and no brainers.
  Some current key Falcons though as much as like Devonta Freeman he may not be long for the team.  His big contract and declining production will make him hard to keep around.  Tough decisions ahead for the cap strapped Falcons.
John Elway is an all-time favorite of mine.  Christian McCaffrey is a guy I wasn't all in on his first season but I quickly saw the error of my ways.

Todd Gurley, Georgia Bulldog alum, didn't match his production of  '17 or '18 last season but I'm still a big fan.  Not a ton of football cards from this show but it's always random as to what I'll find or end up picking up.  But it is always a fun time.

Friday, February 21, 2020

2019-2020 Prizm Draft Picks Basketball

2019-20 Panini Prizm Draft Picks Basketball:  I don't normally go for the shiny stuff that much but this has been on the shelves of my Wal-Mart for some time and with Zion mania in full swing why not.  I was rewarded with this pink pulsar parallel of the man himself.  Won't put any kids through college but still makes this pack a winner right off the bat.  And this wasn't the only Zion in my pack...
With this set you get to see players in their college unis which can be fun.  The base design is simple and looks pretty good in hand.  
The backs are nice and colorful.  We get to see a team logo as well which is good. 
 I really like the look of the Crusade inserts.  Even snagged a parallel though I'm not sure it does any favors in that color.  I was happy to pull a Red Raider.  Jarrett Culver now plays for Minnesota.

And there he is again!  This pack was definitely a win with two Zion cards.  Overall I'm OK with the design and I might dip back into this brand before the year is out.

15 – Total Cards
11 – RC
3 – Crusade
3 – Pink Pulsar Parallels
1 – All-American
1 – Duplicate

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Random Wax: 2019-2020 Hoops

2019-2020 Hoops Basketball:  The NBA All-Star game is tonight but Dame will not be in the game due to injury.  Man that stinks as he's been so good lately and Portland is trying to make a run at a playoff spot.  I really like this photo of Lillard and this card so even though I pulled a Zion in this pack we start it off with Damian.
Hoops has been good to me this year.  This is the first of my three packs that didn't have an autograph.  That's crazy good pulls.  This one still had plenty of star power even if there wasn't any ink.  
I'm not a Lonzo Ball guy but I think he looks better this year.  While his overall field goal percentage is down, his shooting from deep is up and he just looks more comfortable on the court.  We'll see if he can continue to improve.  More than anything I'm so happy his dad isn't part of the news anymore - that dude was annoying.
It's nice to see Victor Oladipo back on the court. A.D. has looked great this year.  Playing with a stud like LeBron will do that for you.  Not that A.D. wasn't already a great player.  But after LeBron suffered through injuries last season we really didn't know what this year would look like.  Now LA is the best of the West and it's hard not to see them at least in the conference championship this year.
That Cam Romeo Langford is a holo parallel even if it is next to impossible to see in the scan.  Definitely a fun pack.  There will be more of these in my future.

30 – Total Cards
5 – RC
2 – Hoops Tribute
2 – Arriving Now (1 – Holo Parallel)
1 – Lights Camera Action
1 – Teal Explosion Parallel

2019 Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. 1:24 Chevrolet Camaro "Warthog"

NASCAR kicks of the 2019 schedule today at Daytona.  I'll show off my Bubba Wallace 1:24 Chevrolet Camaro Air Force "Warthog" car to start off the season.  This is a departure from the normal blue scheme the Air Force  sponsored cars have traditionally had in the past.  I follow Bubba Wallace who got to the top level of NASCAR just a few years ago and the Air Force has always been one his sponsors.
The car is pretty slick and of course tries to mirror what you see on the racetrack.  The #43 is the same number NASCAR legend Richard Petty drove and Wallace now drives for Richard Petty Motorsports.
The hood and flaps on the roof flip up and the front wheels can be turned slightly.
The paint job overall, specifically the gray color and the grill, were done to mirror the Air Force's A-10 Warthog.  It is a beast of a plane and hailed for the damage it can do in it's close air support role.  It can also definitely take a licking and keep on ticking.
 I have ties to the Air Force through the careers of my pop (a huge NASCAR fan), my wife and myself so I've followed those sponsored cars since I became a fan.
I'm very happy with this car.  It is sharp and done really well.  I also purchased the 1:64 scale (Hot Wheels size).  This one will go up with the rest of mine that are at my desk at work.  Looks like this year Bubba Wallace will once again go with the "Warthog" paint scheme on his Air Force sponsored car.  I'll definitely pick that one up as well.  Hopefully we'll have a good race today to start off the season and maybe Wallace can have a nice finish.  I'm really hoping he can be a consistent top 15 finisher this season.  Easier said than done but I have hope.  Let's go racing boys!
  • Racing Series: NASCAR Cup Series
  • Driver: Darrell Wallace Jr
  • Model Year: 2019
  • Car Make: Chevrolet
  • Car Model: Camaro
  • Scale: 1:24-scale
  • Finish: Standard

Friday, February 14, 2020

2020 Topps Baseball Blaster

2020 Topps Baseball:  This is my first chance at picking up the 2020 Topps flagship.  I like where they are going with this design.  The vertical name still throws me off but overall I like it.  A good sized logo and lots of room for the photo.  When you open your first packs of the year you are always hoping to pull "the guy" and there was Mike Trout to kick things off right for me.
Clayton Kershaw had another great year but his ERA topped 3 for first time since his rookie year in 2008.  Wow!  And it was still only 3.03 last season.  This guy definitely isn't the Cy Young of years past but he can still deal.
Plenty of good and fun photos across the set.  Man the look on Kingery's face - intense.
Can't wait to see if Shohei Ohtani gets back to the mound this year and see what he can do.
Topps revisited 1985 with some of their inserts and I'm a fan.  That Clemons is a Rookie Retrospective RC Logo Medallion Card exclusive to blasters.  They are on a very thick card stock.  I like them but I need to track down sleeves and holders for something that big.  That is a different photo from Brett's original '85 card.  Again these are wins for me.
  Some inserts and subsets.  I always forget to use the Homerun Challenge cards but I'm making it a priority to use that Freeman card.  This Master & Apprentice card is a checklist card and is gold foil parallel.  I like the League Leaders cards but almost missed that that is what this Yelich is.  Love that Brewers classic uni.
The youngsters of course get their due with three different offerings here.  When I first saw that Aquino card I swore I had pulled an Eric Davis. I know they don't look that much alike but the uni and jersey number had me doing a double take.
  I do like the Decade's Best design.  Just a bit different and I dig it.  Those Turkey Red on the other hand don't do anything for me.  The one on the left is the standard card while the one on the right is the chrome variety.  I'm all about retro but these just aren't appealing to me and kind of boring.
The great Nick Markakis people.  Probably the most unassuming man ever with 2,355 hits in his career.  That's good enough for 136th all-time.  Glad he is still a Brave and I can't help but root for that guy.  Hopefully he'll retire with the team.  This was a fun start to the baseball collecting season.  I like the design and hopefully I can get used to the vertical design thing.  The inserts are hit and miss for me so far but overall I like the cards.  There will of course be much more of these throughout the year.

99 – Total Cards
7 – Turkey Red 2020
5 – RC
4 – Team Cards
4 – Future Stars
2 – Rookie Cup
2 – Decade’s Best
1 – League Leaders
1 – Homerun Challenge
1 – Gold Foil Parallel
2 - 1985 Topps 35th Anniversary Set
1 - Chrome Turkey Red 2020
1 - Rookie Retrospective RC Logo Medallion Card

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Atlanta Hawks Trades at the Trade Deadline Last Week

Not sure Clint Capela was this happy when he heard the news he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks last week) but I'm happy.  Atlanta really didn't have to give up much and I agree with the talking heads that when healthy Capela will fit in well with the young core who like to push the ball.  Atlanta gave up Evan Turner, the Nets' 2020 first round pick and the Warriors' 2024 second round pick.  This year's draft isn't a strong one so that first rounder from what is currently a playoff team doesn't look like that big a loss.  This was a huge win for the Hawks.  Trae Young and John Collins should work well with Capela.  Not sure if Collins will be with the team long term but there is time to figure that out.  

The second trade for a big man confuses me though.  Atlanta picked up Dewayne Dedmon and two second round picks for Jabari Parker and Alex Len.  On the surface it is a good deal.  But Dedmon has been complaining about playing time and not sure how he fits when Capela comes back from injury and starts.  Dedmon won't take any minutes from big men Capela or Collins.  He is on contract for two more years so this one has me scratching my head. 

The Hawks completed three other more minor trades.  Overall it was very productive.  They traded away many of the veteran contracts they had taken on and for the most part have a very young roster.  It'll be interesting to see where they go from here.  They'll surely have a high pick in the upcoming draft.  Hopefully they can hit on a key player in what isn't looked at as a strong draft class.  They should have some financial flexibility as well.  Good things are on the horizon for this team.  Hopefully we aren't more than a couple of years from seeing the Hawks back in the playoffs. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Card Show Pickups (Basketball)

My basketball pickups at the show were all from the same guy who had a ton of older basketball cards.  I could have picked up so many more but I'd spent most of my money by the time I stopped at his table.  This 1982  Alex English was a nice find.  I've always loved him as a player.  He was so smooth on the court and dude could flat out score.
These 1980 Topps spotlight three greats, and Hall of Famers, from the game.  I remember Gilmore more from his Spurs days but man he was a beast.  He shot 58% for his career while leading the NBA in shooting percentage six times.  Dr. J was, Dr. J.  Wes Unseld looks scared right there and he should be. Bill Walton was already past his days with the Trail Blazers on this card but he'll forever be remembered for bringing Portland a championship.  And as crazy short his career was he is forever ingrained in the brains of fans across the NBA thanks to his short run with the Celtics.
A couple of PC guys here with Marques Johnson and Jack Sikma.  Both these guys would be great today.  Johnson was  "point forward" before there was such a thing and Sikma could pass and had a sweet mid range jumper.  DJ was a guy whose career in Phoenix is mostly forgotten by most fans.  Seems like we remember him winning a title for Seattle and of course his run with Boston but he played on some darn good Suns teams.
That Bulls card has some of my all-time favorites in Gilmore and Theus while another is on that Atlanta card in Dan Roundfield.  They all bring back so many memories.  
Sweet Lou Hudson is gracing the front of a 1977 Topps card as is Billy Knight there.  Dan Roundfield is on a 1978 card in his pre-Hawks days.  Some fun finds.  If I'd known what this guy had to begin with (these binders were behind the table) I could have spent all of my money there pretty easily.  
These tall boys are hard to store but still a favorite of mine.